UPDATE deserving of a “Seriously?!”
From the Washington Post:
“The collapse of the dazzling career of CIA Director David H. Petraeus was triggered when a woman whom he was having an affair with sent threatening e-mails to another woman close to him, according to three senior law enforcement officials with knowledge of the episode.
The recipient of the e-mails was so frightened that she went to the FBI for protection and help tracking down the sender, according to the officials. The FBI investigation traced the threats to Paula Broadwell, a former military officer and a Petraeus biographer, and uncovered explicit e-mails between Broadwell and Petraeus, the officials said….
The identity of the woman who received the e-mails was not disclosed, and the nature of her relationship with Petraeus is unknown. The law enforcement officials said the e-mails indicated that Broadwell perceived the other woman as a threat to her relationship with Petraeus.”
Back in July, the “Ethicist” column in the New York Times Magazine published a strange, anonymous letter that in hindsight probably set many a tongue wagging in Washington, D.C., and is doing so again in light of recent news events.
Here’s the letter:
My wife is having an affair with a government executive. His role is to manage a project whose progress is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership. (This might seem hyperbolic, but it is not an exaggeration.) I have met with him on several occasions, and he has been gracious. (I doubt if he is aware of my knowledge.) I have watched the affair intensify over the last year, and I have also benefited from his generosity. He is engaged in work that I am passionate about and is absolutely the right person for the job. I strongly feel that exposing the affair will create a major distraction that would adversely impact the success of an important effort. My issue: Should I acknowledge this affair and finally force closure? Should I suffer in silence for the next year or two for a project I feel must succeed? Should I be “true to my heart” and walk away from the entire miserable situation and put the episode behind me?
As Chuck Klosterman, author of the ethics column, noted in his perceptive response, “The fact that you’re willing to accept your wife’s infidelity for some greater political good is beyond honorable. In fact, it’s so over-the-top honorable that I’m not sure I believe your motives are real. Part of me wonders why you’re even posing this question, particularly in a column that is printed in The New York Times… I halfway suspect you’re writing this letter because you want specific people to read this column and deduce who is involved and what’s really going on behind closed doors (without actually addressing the conflict in person). That’s not ethical, either.”
– Jay Bookman